Joni Mitchell made a surprise appearance during the encore at Brandi Carlile‘s show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last night (Oct. 14), extending an on- and off-stage friendship that has seen her improbable return to live performing after a nine-year hiatus.
The pair traded stories (Mitchell called Carlile “butch” for drinking straight out of a wine bottle, and Carlile talked about them spending time together in Canada) before performing Mitchell’s “Shine,” “Ladies of the Canyon,” and “The Circle Game.” Annie Lennox and Lucius also lent a hand on vocals, while Blake Mills and Wendy and Lisa of the Revolution chipped in musically.
Earlier, Lennox guested with Carlile on her solo favorites “Why,” and “No More ‘I Love You’s,” as well as Eurythmics’ “Love Is a Stranger,” while Wendy and Lisa joined to cover Prince’s “Mountains.” Buoyed by further guest appearances by Allison Russell and Carlile’s wife Catherine, the show also featured covers of Elton John’s “Madman Across the Water” (dedicated to “Elton, David, and the boys”) and Indigo Girls’ “Closer To Fine.”
The event capped a huge 2023 for Carlile, who in June headlined a three-night stand at the Gorge in George, Wa., highlighted by a Joni Jam dedicated to and featuring Mitchell. Carlile also opened for P!nk on the pop star’s recent stadium tour, in addition to her festival and headlining dates.
As for Mitchell, who turns 80 on Nov. 7, it was her first Los Angeles-area singing performance in public since a short set at the Wiltern in 2002. Her last performance at the Hollywood Bowl took place at the 1979 Playboy Jazz Festival. To close out the night, Carlile led the sold-out crowd in singing an early “Happy Birthday” to Mitchell.
Brandi Carlile and Friends’ Hollywood Bowl setlist:
Stay Gentle / Over the Rainbow
The Things I Regret
I Belong to You (with Catherine Carlile)
Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls cover)
The Man I’ll Never Find (Lucius cover) (with Lucius)
You and Me on the Rock (with Lucius)
Requiem (Allison Russell cover) (with Allison Russell)
Press My Luck (Blake Mills cover) (with Blake Mills)
Mountains (Prince cover) (with Wendy & Lisa)
Why (Annie Lennox cover) (with Annie Lennox)
No More “I Love You’s” (The Lover Speaks cover) (with Annie Lennox)
Love Is a Stranger (Eurythmics cover) (with Annie Lennox)
Madman Across the Water (Elton John cover)
Woodstock (Joni Mitchell cover)
Shine (Joni Mitchell cover) (with Joni Mitchell)
Ladies of the Canyon (Joni Mitchell cover) (with Joni Mitchell)
Circle Game (Joni Mitchell cover) (with Joni Mitchell)